The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected 882,919 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications and vaping cartridges at the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day event, October 26.
The DEA Omaha Division accounted for 22,067 pounds collected from sites in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
In South Dakota, residents discarded 1,152 pounds of medications and vaping cartridges.
“The DEA wishes to thank all of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners who helped make this Take Back event successful,” Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr. said. “Collectively, we removed over 22,000 pounds of powerfully addictive and potentially deadly medications from falling into the wrong hands.”
This October, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges for the first time in Take Back Day history. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is spreading the word about the dangers of vaping.
According to the DEA, the public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove unwanted or unused medicines that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.
People unable to drop off medications on National Take Back Day can find secure disposal sites by visiting www.takebackday.dea.gov or by calling 1-800-882-9539.